By Roger Hoover / Smokies Radio Network
The Tennessee Smokies will aim for a series win against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in the third game of the series at Smokies Park on Tuesday night.
Last night the Smokies swept the Wahoos in a doubleheader, winning the first game 6-3 before prevailing 3-2 in the night cap.
Tonight’s game is the final contest in July for Tennessee, and the Smokies have gone 12-15 in this past month.
Tonight Tennessee sends right-hander Dae-Eun Rhee to the mound to start the third game of the series. Rhee is 7-5 with a 5.09 ERA this season. Starting for the Blue Wahoos is right-hander Kyle Lotzkar, who is 4-5 with a 5.32 ERA in 2012.
Here are more notes on tonight’s game, direct from the official Tennessee Smokies game notes compiled by Cody Chrusciel:
SETTING THE SCENE
After the Smokies swept yesterday’s doubleheader, they’ll look to secure the series victory today when they take on the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in the middle contest of a five-game set. The Blue Wahoos moved to Florida over the offseason after playing as the Carolina Mudcats from 1991-2011.
LAST TIME OUT
In the first-ever meetings between the two teams, the Smokies swept the Blue Wahoos in a doubleheader last night, winning by scores of 6-3 and 3-2, respectively. In game one, Eric Jokisch tossed a seven-inning complete game and Greg Rohan’s three-run blast highlighted a five-run first inning. Matt Szczur went 3-for-4 in his Smokies Park debut. In game two, Casey Harman fired four scoreless innings in his first start of the season and the Smokies held on despite a two-run homer in the seventh by Pensacola’s Mark Fleury. A pair of Pensacola errors led to two unearned runs.
Infielder Junior Lake had his 12-game hitting streak snapped in game two of yesterday’s doubleheader. Lake recorded multiple hits in each of the final seven games of that streak, going 20-for-55 (.364). In the Smokies most recent series against the Suns, Lake went 9-for-19 with three home runs, four doubles, six runs scored, and nine RBIs (he had 20 RBIs in his first 64 games).
Nate Samson has hit safely in six straight games, going 9-for-22 (.409) over that span. Samson is batting .322 against left-handed pitchers this season. Since re-joining the Smokies from Triple-A Iowa on June 28, Juan Apodaca is hitting .365 (19-for-52) with five doubles, a home run, and 11 RBIs in 20 games. Apodaca was hitting .207 for the Smokies when he was promoted to Iowa in April and has since raised his average with Tennessee 102 points to .309. Overall this season, the eight-year veteran is hitting .324. His career high is .260, set in his first professional season in 2005 in the Dodgers system. Since June 1, Logan Watkins is batting .337 with a .437 on-base percentage in 48 games. Mike Burgess has driven in 38 runs this season, 37 of which have come against right-handed pitchers. Despite the fact that the Smokies are batting just 10 points lower against left-handed pitchers (.251) than they are against right-handed pitchers (.261), they are 11-21 when facing southpaws this season.
Fans can listen to the games on the Smokies Radio Network, with the “Voice of the Smokies” Mick Gillispie entering his sixth season as Tennessee’s Director of Broadcasting. The 2010 Southern League Broadcaster of the Year is assisted by Cody Chrusciel, Roger Hoover, Jonathan Guess, and Adam King. Chrusciel and Hoover will host the Pilot Oscar-Mayer Pregame Show beginning at 7 p.m. on the Smokies Radio Network.
Tonight’s broadcast will air on the Smokies Radio Network’s flagship station The Sports Animal WNML AM 990, FM 99.1 and 99.3 plus the Smokies mobile app. Click the link below to listen live online.